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Portable Sawmills

spitzair

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,009
Location
Squamish BC (Home), Slave Lake, AB (Work)
I'm sure there's a few of you out there who are into the portable sawmill scene, and I thought it might be neat to start a thread to show them off. I'll start with ours. It's a Woodcraft/CSI mill built in 1991, fully loaded with hydraulic log handling package. It sports a 23hp Kohler engine and with the extensions we have on it can cut 30 feet. It's been a great mill for us, I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of board feet we've cut with it. We've made a few improvements and changes to it here and there as we went along but all in all it's been a great little mill! Some pictures are when we first got it, others are from more recently. Enjoy and please post some of your own, and if there's already a thread such as this one mods feel free to move this post there...
 

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spitzair

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,009
Location
Squamish BC (Home), Slave Lake, AB (Work)
And here's the pictures from when it was new......
 

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CRAFT

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
929
Location
100 M H,BC,Canada
Occupation
30 yrs Owner/Operator
Nice pics ! ....now i'm going to have to do some home work digging the pics out of my "Cutting Edge Portable Bandsaw Mill" ......

Mike Mochoruk Founder of the Cutting Edge Mills, at one point worked for CSI as a millright machinest, and left there just before they bankrupted the last time ..... after a few years building the Cutting Edge mills he was approached to buy what was left of the CSI company remains ... and he did (so if you're in need of replacement parts they have everything you'll ever need to retro fit upgraded parts to fit the Board Bandit, Woodcraft band mills) ...... the 2 brands of mills are simular in design but also very different .... now I got to find some my pics.
 

HSV127

Senior Member
Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
259
Location
New Zealand
I borrowed this mill to saw some native logs that we dug out of the swamp on our farm.

It's a 10" swing blade mill powered by a 23hp Lombardini diesel engine made by Peterson Portable Sawmills NZ. It worked really well, was easy to set up on site and could cut up to a 20' long log with the standard tracks but can do unlimited length with track extensions.


DSC02542-1.jpgDSC02583-1.jpgDSC02569-1.jpgDSC02547-2.jpg
 

spitzair

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,009
Location
Squamish BC (Home), Slave Lake, AB (Work)
HSV, That's some very nice looking wood you got there!
Craft, a friend of my dad's has a Cutting edge and loves it, many improvements over the CSI mill we have. There's another fellow in town with an electric Cutting edge mill and he just hates it, he just uses it to square logs and then runs them through a Woodmizer... Good to know though that we can get parts from Mike. From what I remember he was always very good to deal with and always wanted feedback on how to improve the product.
 

outlawbill

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
2
Location
newbrunswick Canada
Hello you wouldn't happen to have any operating manuals for the woodcraft .

I'm sure there's a few of you out there who are into the portable sawmill scene, and I thought it might be neat to start a thread to show them off. I'll start with ours. It's a Woodcraft/CSI mill built in 1991, fully loaded with hydraulic log handling package. It sports a 23hp Kohler engine and with the extensions we have on it can cut 30 feet. It's been a great mill for us, I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of board feet we've cut with it. We've made a few improvements and changes to it here and there as we went along but all in all it's been a great little mill! Some pictures are when we first got it, others are from more recently. Enjoy and please post some of your own, and if there's already a thread such as this one mods feel free to move this post there...

Just picked one up and slowly starting to figure it out . Any help would be greatly appreciated . Thanks outlawbill
 

CatToy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
247
Location
SE Tn
Just brought one a few months ago.
 

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spitzair

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,009
Location
Squamish BC (Home), Slave Lake, AB (Work)
Just picked one up and slowly starting to figure it out . Any help would be greatly appreciated . Thanks outlawbill

Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums Outlawbill! I'll do my best to answer any questions that I can, but I must say I can't recall ever having seen a manual for the mill although it's entirely possible we have one somewhere. My dad bought it new in 1991 and there's been relatively few problems with it. Our biggest complaint is the hose guide system that takes the hydraulics from the upper carriage to the lower unit, it seems to pop apart them plastic links all the time and then the lines just flop over to one side... What a lot of guys have done is to get rid of those hoses altogether and run a small gas engine power pack on the lower unit, something we're still planning on doing eventually... Another issue we had was the slide for the dogs would bind up because there was no support on the end of the cylinder that slides it; gravity would pull it down and then the hydraulic ram would push at an angle driving it still further down and then it would jam up. We installed a simple support and it hasn't been an issue since. The main driveshaft bearings seized up on us at one point so make sure you grease them often, and also take the tension off the blades whenever you don't use the mill, even over night, that seems to help a lot. Other than that the only other annoying issue is that the kohler engine loves to fry ignition coils, so much so that we always have two spares on hand. Aside from all that it's actually been a great mill that has cut hundreds of thousands of boardfeet of lumber for us, it always starts and works, and I'm sure I'll be teaching my newborn son how to mill lumber with it when he's old enough!
 

outlawbill

New Member
Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
2
Location
newbrunswick Canada
woodcraft

Welcome to Heavy Equipment Forums Outlawbill! I'll do my best to answer any questions that I can, but I must say I can't recall ever having seen a manual for the mill although it's entirely possible we have one somewhere. My dad bought it new in 1991 and there's been relatively few problems with it. Our biggest complaint is the hose guide system that takes the hydraulics from the upper carriage to the lower unit, it seems to pop apart them plastic links all the time and then the lines just flop over to one side... What a lot of guys have done is to get rid of those hoses altogether and run a small gas engine power pack on the lower unit, something we're still planning on doing eventually... Another issue we had was the slide for the dogs would bind up because there was no support on the end of the cylinder that slides it; gravity would pull it down and then the hydraulic ram would push at an angle driving it still further down and then it would jam up. We installed a simple support and it hasn't been an issue since. The main driveshaft bearings seized up on us at one point so make sure you grease them often, and also take the tension off the blades whenever you don't use the mill, even over night, that seems to help a lot. Other than that the only other annoying issue is that the kohler engine loves to fry ignition coils, so much so that we always have two spares on hand. Aside from all that it's actually been a great mill that has cut hundreds of thousands of boardfeet of lumber for us, it always starts and works, and I'm sure I'll be teaching my newborn son how to mill lumber with it when he's old enough!

thanks for the quick response , it is starting to come together i think my main problem now is the tires are worn flat . and the saw came with 1 1/4 blades and i think 1 1/2 would be a better fit . thinking about crowning the wheels right on the mill with a grinder or i may have to take them off and machine them . i can track them know but if anything moves the blade it will not go back in place by its self . thanks again for the info . outlaw bill
 

MHeiden

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
1
Location
Creston, BC.
I bought the very last Sawmill Mike Morochuck built before he sold the Cuttingedge company about 10 years ago. It's a wonderful machine with the 31hp Kubota diesel, full hydraulics, 24' deck. It will cut through the heart of a 39" log with no difficulties. I was cutting figured maple in Chilliwack for a few years but now I have it out in Creston with nothing too big to handle... a few Fir timbers now and then.
Does anyone know if Shane I believe is still building them in Langley?
 

CRAFT

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
929
Location
100 M H,BC,Canada
Occupation
30 yrs Owner/Operator
I bought the very last Sawmill Mike Morochuck built before he sold the Cuttingedge company about 10 years ago. It's a wonderful machine with the 31hp Kubota diesel, full hydraulics, 24' deck. It will cut through the heart of a 39" log with no difficulties. I was cutting figured maple in Chilliwack for a few years but now I have it out in Creston with nothing too big to handle... a few Fir timbers now and then.
Does anyone know if Shane I believe is still building them in Langley?

Nope !!! … Unfortunately Shane had some issues after he moved the company out off of Sumas Way Abby ….. I talked to Mike a couple of years ago "HE IS Enjoying Retirement" ….. Cheers to you and Welcome to HEF !!!
 

Rock Ridge

New Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
3
Location
Alberta
Woodcraft

Hi Spitzair ,

I was very happy to have found this site and your info , I had Googled Bandsaw pictures Canada found a pic of your mill and here I am now ...

I have the very same mill as yours I bought it about 12 years ago used it a bit and then got transferred overseas , I pulled my mill out from under the tarps and am trying to get it up and running for next spring .

My mill has a 3o HP Wisconsin engine on it I got it going but it is running a little rough needs a good carb cleaning ,points and spark plugs , other than that all the hydraulics are still running great with no leaks which surprised me after sitting for so long.

When I did have the mill running ( 12 yrs ago ) I was operating on trial and error the guy I bought it from really didn't know much either so in essence I am as green as they come.
The problems I did have were with the blade diving down , the guides seemed to not be set correctly and maybe my blade or cutting speed was too slow or maybe too fast .
I have a lot of questions and also am looking at upgrading some of the parts like the blade guides/ rollers ( excuse me if I do not have the right terminology ) .I would appreciate any help and advice I can get ..thanks Rock Ridge
 

CRAFT

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
929
Location
100 M H,BC,Canada
Occupation
30 yrs Owner/Operator
Welcome to the HEF Forum !!! ……. A lot of the Blade diving had to do with the set in your Band Blades …. the 2 guild rollers have a bit to do with it and is easy to check and correct IF they are out of whack ……

What Band Blades were you purchasing ??? …. and what type …. Eg : Pitch … Blade width … and from there we can talk about total set etc. ….

Again Welcome ! …. PM me if you have questions ….. Cheers !!!
 

spitzair

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,009
Location
Squamish BC (Home), Slave Lake, AB (Work)
Hello Rockridge, and welcome to the forums! Craft has already a really good thing to check with the set on your teeth, we have a tool that has a dial indicator to set the teeth and it works very well and well worth the effort. Another reason your blade could be diving is if you're feeding too fast and the blade isn't sharp anymore, I found that to be the biggest reason for diving. Also keep your RPMs up, the higher your RPMs on the blade, the less likely it is going to dive. Our mill has the Kohler engine on it and with the drive pulley it had on it when we bought it the RPMs on the blade were quite high but it didn't have all that great torque so my dad bought a bigger driven pulley for it and slowed it down some, now it gnars through the wood a lot better but you have to have the revs on the engine maxed out whereas before we didn't, or should I say we didn't know any better perhaps... Where in Alberta are you located? I'm in Slave Lake and if you're close by I could perhaps come and help you iron out the kinks one day...
 

Rock Ridge

New Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
3
Location
Alberta
Woodcraft

Hello Rockridge, and welcome to the forums! Craft has already a really good thing to check with the set on your teeth, we have a tool that has a dial indicator to set the teeth and it works very well and well worth the effort. Another reason your blade could be diving is if you're feeding too fast and the blade isn't sharp anymore, I found that to be the biggest reason for diving. Also keep your RPMs up, the higher your RPMs on the blade, the less likely it is going to dive. Our mill has the Kohler engine on it and with the drive pulley it had on it when we bought it the RPMs on the blade were quite high but it didn't have all that great torque so my dad bought a bigger driven pulley for it and slowed it down some, now it gnars through the wood a lot better but you have to have the revs on the engine maxed out whereas before we didn't, or should I say we didn't know any better perhaps... Where in Alberta are you located? I'm in Slave Lake and if you're close by I could perhaps come and help you iron out the kinks one day...
Hi and thanks for the reply and valuable information , I suspected the rpm's had to be up there but was not sure if I had to be maxed out the old Wisconsin I am running is a 30 HP unit but I am not sure what rpm all I know is she really winds up when i open her up.The blade I have on seems sharp to me but for all I know it could very well be dull , I would love to spend a couple days with someone who knows what they are doing .My place is in Cold Lake where is your mill in BC or in Slave L.?

I am currently in SE Asia but will be back in Canada mid Oct I will take a bunch of pictures of the unit and my blade guides like i had mentioned before after looking at some newer models on other saws I believe i should upgrade .I did look at your pics and I see it is a double roller and on mine it is a small block that rides on top of the blade with a roller bearing behind the blade ...if you know what I mean ..

again thanks for the reply and great tips.
Rock Ridge
 

spitzair

Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,009
Location
Squamish BC (Home), Slave Lake, AB (Work)
Hi Rock Ridge,
The mill is in Squamish BC at my dad's place... I guess when you're back I could saddle up the wife and kid in the camper and make a weekend out of it and see how things are with your mill. It's been some time now since I last ran the mill, haven't had much time lately to head back down to the coast, but I'd be happy to show you things I know and remember... We had the same blade guides that you mention with the micarta (I think that's what the stuff is called) blocks on top and the bearings behind, those bearings seized up all the time... The new guides are the way to go, I know my dad bought them from CSI before they disappeared, but any decent machine shop should be able to whip them up for you in no time. I can only highly recommend upgrading to the double roller style, they will also definitely keep your blade from diving a lot as they offer support for the blade on the bottom as well as on top.
Cheers!
 

Rock Ridge

New Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
3
Location
Alberta
Hi Rock Ridge,
The mill is in Squamish BC at my dad's place... I guess when you're back I could saddle up the wife and kid in the camper and make a weekend out of it and see how things are with your mill. It's been some time now since I last ran the mill, haven't had much time lately to head back down to the coast, but I'd be happy to show you things I know and remember... We had the same blade guides that you mention with the micarta (I think that's what the stuff is called) blocks on top and the bearings behind, those bearings seized up all the time... The new guides are the way to go, I know my dad bought them from CSI before they disappeared, but any decent machine shop should be able to whip them up for you in no time. I can only highly recommend upgrading to the double roller style, they will also definitely keep your blade from diving a lot as they offer support for the blade on the bottom as well as on top.
Cheers!

Thanks I would appreciate a visit and some advice that would be very much appreciated , I will tell you where i am currently at with the mill and my plans ..As mentioned I will replace the guides and so far from what I have found on the net there are two that seem to be quite popular the Timber Wolf and Cooks both are quite different so I need to keep doing so more homework. The other thing I have been reading and everyone says is a must is a debarker guys claim they save on blades one guy from 5 blades a day to 2 blades per day , Woodmizer seem to have it nailed down but I am not sure if or how hard it would be to modify onto my mill again more homework. My plan is to try to get the mill ready for next spring buy my logs over the winter and saw in the spring / summer which is probably a better time for a visit when I actually fire it up and try to cut lumber !! For now I need all the advice and ideas I can get so I can get this mill working like new.
comments suggestions ?

Rock Ridge
 
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